"out of Egypt" not a proof text (Hos 11)

George Athas gathas at globalfreeway.com.au
Tue Dec 19 19:45:44 EST 2000

| "Behold a VIRGIN shall conceive . . . " ?? If he was such a good OT scholar,
| why did he not realise that the LXX here was a bad translation?! Anyway,
| since there is no "antitype" of a virgin birth in the Jewish scriptures, how
| can this be a "type"? Matthew clearly intends it as a direct prophecy of a
| unique miraculous event.

I think you might be mixing things around here. The Isaiah 7:14 text is the type, and Mary
with Jesus in Matthew's gospel is the antitype. Also, if Matthew was using the LXX, then
the connection seems clear enough to make.

| "That he should be called a NAZARENE." ?? (From having lived in Nazareth? -
| and what "prophet"?)
| Furthermore, I cannot accept your over subtle interpretation of "Out of
| Egypt did I call my son." No one in the early church could have read the
| passage without taking it as a fulfilment of a direct prophecy about Jesus,
| the "Son of God", particularly as in those first few chapters Matthew has
| been piling them up, one after another, to prove that the Jewish scriptures
| pointed directly and explicitly to Jesus.

That the early Christian writers sought to show how their Old scriptures pointed to Jesus,
there is no doubt. I think, however, you are taking this a step beyond what those writers
intended. The NT writers did not see their Old scriptures as simply a table of contents
for the life of Jesus. They saw it is a chronicle of the people of Israel and the dealings
of their God with Israel, as the average Jew also did. However, the NT writers *also* saw
in their Old scriptures the precedents which Jesus fitted. This second aspect was not the
only aspect to their belief in 'fulfilment' of scripture. A study of the way the gospels
are crafted with their many allusions to the 'Old Testament' brings this out. It shows
that the NT writers saw the 'Old Testament' at two levels. Firstly, they saw it as the
chronicle of Israel which revealed the character of their God, and secondly (and more
importantly to the NT writers) they saw it as a set of precedents which Jesus fitted. They
find the types in the OT, and the anti-types in Jesus. This belief is not simply limited
to the gospels, though. It is rife throughout the NT. That the original writers of the
Hebrew Bible did not intend or foresee their writings being used as such "proof texts" is
quite logical. But this does not make the NT writers' usage of them in this way as


Best regards,

(Sydney, Australia)
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